Machaut, Guillaume de

Machaut, Guillaume de
or Guillaume de Machault

born с 1300, Machault, France
died 1377, Reims

French poet and composer.

After possibly receiving a university education and taking holy orders, he traveled throughout Europe as secretary to the king of Bohemia. He was appointed canon of Reims cathedral in 1337. After the king's death, Machaut was supported by several royal patrons, including the duke de Berry, and King Charles V. Beside 14 narrative poems incorporating short lyrics, he wrote more than 400 separate lyric poems. He wrote dozens of musical compositions in each of the genres of formes fixes. He also composed the first complete setting of the mass for four voices, and he was the outstanding figure of the Ars Nova. His poetry is noted chiefly for its technical innovations. Geoffrey Chaucer's Book of the Duchesse shows the influence of Machaut.

Guillaume de Machaut, detail of a miniature from Oeuvres de Guillaume de Machaut, ...

Courtesy of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

* * *

▪ French poet and musician
Machaut also spelled  Machault  
born c. 1300, , Machault, Fr.
died 1377, Reims
 French poet and musician, greatly admired by contemporaries as a master of French versification and regarded as one of the leading French composers of the Ars Nova (q.v.) musical style of the 14th century. It is on his shorter poems and his musical compositions that his reputation rests. He was the last great poet in France to think of the lyric and its musical setting as a single entity.

      He took holy orders and in 1323 entered the service of John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia, whom he accompanied on his wars as chaplain and secretary. He was rewarded for this service by his appointment in 1337 as canon of Reims cathedral. After the King's death, he found another protector in the King's daughter, Bonne of Luxembourg, wife of the future king John II of France, and in 1349 in Charles II, king of Navarre. Honours and patronage continued to be lavished by kings and princes on Machaut at Reims until his death.

      In his longer poems Machaut did not go beyond the themes and genres already widely employed in his time. Mostly didactic and allegorical exercises in the well-worked courtly love tradition, they are of scant interest to the modern reader. An exception among the longer works is Voir-Dit, which relates how a young girl of high rank falls in love with the poet because of his fame and creative accomplishments. The difference in age is too great, however, and the idyll ends in disappointment. Machaut's lyric poems also are based on the courtly love theme but reworked into a deft form with a verbal music that is often perfectly achieved. His influence—most significantly his technical innovations—spread beyond the borders of France. In England, Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer, Geoffrey) drew heavily upon Machaut's poetry for elements of The Book of the Duchesse.

      All of Machaut's music has been preserved in 32 manuscripts, representing a large part of the surviving music from his period. He was the first composer to write single-handedly a polyphonic setting of the mass ordinary, a work that has been recorded in modern performance. In most of this four-part setting he employs the characteristic Ars Nova technique of isorhythm (repeated overlapping of a rhythmic pattern in varying melodic forms).

      Machaut's secular compositions make up the larger part of his music. His three- and four-part motets (polyphonic songs in which each voice has a different text) number 23. Of these, 17 are in French, 2 are Latin mixed with French, and 4, like the religious motets of the early 13th century, are in Latin. Love is often the subject of their texts, and all but 3 employ isorhythm. Machaut's 19 lais (lai) (see lai) are usually for unaccompanied voice, although two are for three parts, and one is for two parts. They employ a great variety of musical material, frequently from the popular song and dance. Of his 33 virelais (virelai) (see virelai), 25 consist solely of a melody, and they, along with the bulk of his lais, represent the last of such unaccompanied songs composed in the tradition of the trouvères (trouvère). The rest of his virelais have one or two additional parts for instrumental accompaniment, and these are typical of the accompanied solo song that became popular in the 14th century. The polyphonic songs he wrote, in addition to his motets, consist of 21 rondeaux and 41 of his 42 ballades. The wide distribution of his music in contemporary manuscripts reveals that he was esteemed not only in France but also in Italy, Spain, and much of the rest of Europe.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Machaut, Guillaume de — (ca. 1300–1377)    Machaut was the most prolific and most influential 14th century French poet and composer, setting an example with his narrative dits (narratives with interspersed lyric poems) that was followed by poets both in France and… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Machaut, Guillaume de — o Guillaume de Machault ( 1300, Machault, Francia–1377, Reims). Poeta y compositor francés. Después de recibir posiblemente una educación universitaria y de tomar los hábitos religiosos, viajó por toda Europa como secretario del rey de Bohemia.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Machaut, Guillaume de — (1300 1377)    French composer, poet, and priest. He was the most prominent composer in the style known as ars nova / the new art that dominated French music in the first half of the 14th century. He began his career as secretary to King John of… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Machaut, Guillaume de — Guglielmo di Machaut …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Machaut,Guillaume de — Ma·chaut (mä shōʹ), Guillaume de. 1300? 1377. French poet and composer influential in establishing polyphonic song in France. * * * …   Universalium

  • Machaut, Guillaume de — (c. 1300 – before November 1377, Reims?)    Highly respected poet who traveled widely as secretary to King John of Bohemia from about 1323 until John’s death at the battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. Documents thereafter locate him intermittently …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Guillaume de Machaut — Miniature du XIVe siècle : Nature offre à Guillaume de Machaut trois enfants : Sens, Rhétorique et Musique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guillaume de Machaut — Guillaume de Machaut, sometimes spelled Machault, (c. 1300 – April 1377), was an important Medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers for whom significant biographical information is available.Guillaume de Machaut was… …   Wikipedia

  • Guillaume De Machaut — Miniature du XIVe siècle  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Guillaume de Machault — Guillaume de Machaut Guillaume de Machaut Miniature du XIVe siècle  …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”